Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly Endings & MQ Info Solicited (please!!)

I appreciate the machine quilting comments from my last post. You're all right, I can do a better job quilting than what I paid for. But not on a quilt that large (queen sized bed). My poor-little old Singer can not handle a twin easily enough to comfortably quilt. So...I machine quilt my smaller pieces (mini's and runners up to lap size), and send out my others. Which takes me to another question...

I have been pondering getting a long arm quilting system for some time. Last year I looked into it half-casually, and quickly quit when I saw the costs. Now, I am more interested. This is in part due to my difficulty in finding good quilters in my area, but more because I want to find a home-based employment outside of Engineering that I can do when my youngest starts school in 2 years (but going to work fulltime would not really be feasible because of school's hours, etc.). I LOVE to quilt, and I think that I have creative ideas. I know that this is a crazy endeavor, but I might like to give it a try. Here's where I need you all's help... Many of you do this professionally, or have done it. I'd like your thoughts on some things:
  • What LA do you use & your thoughts on it
  • Is having the LA worth the cost?
  • Are LA's troublesome to keep running well?
  • Anything else?...
  • feel free to post here or email me

Today's the day I am off to the Maine Quilt Show. I am anxious to see Sophie's quilt hanging (haven't gotten good pics of it at home due to it's size!), as well as the other 500. Before I depart, here's a few recent scrappy Project Linus finishes. Some scrappier than others...

...and the always (except when her not-so-loved Grampa comes to visit) happy & smiling Sophie laying with the newest stack of quilts
I dipped into my scrap strip boxes which are overflowing to make two of these. They were modeled after this quilt. I threw in the red square for a splash of color, just because it's fun. I like the pink and green one because there are green fabrics with bright pink dots and pink fabrics with bright green frogs. It's very playful. I can see more of this type donation quilt in my future - they are easy, you cannot do them wrong, and eventually they will use up my messy scrap boxes!
I'm not sure if this one ever was shown, but since it was washed yesterday with the others, I'm showing it here. It's uses up my Kaffe Fasset scraps.
And lastly, here's the quilt I had wanted to make jointly with my mom, but since her June retirement, she has decided she's not interested in quilting. Summer has other needs like putting her house & garden back together. So, I took the fishy scraps and put the quilt together myself. It's bright and very child-fun.
There have been plenty of other quilty adventures in my house too, but you'll have to wait. Soon I'll be showing a couple of fairy bags I've nearly finished, the progress on the SFRR3 quilts that I did - Go have a look, they are very pretty as always. I have spent 5-6 hours picking out the quilting on one section of this quilt - which I just realized that I never posted a picture of. It is a lap quilt for me, about 55"x75". I had planned to quilt it in 3 sections and then stitch them together. This worked for another larger quilt I did last year, so that was they plan again. I have always been luke-warm about the backing fabric I chose from my stash, so I never went beyond quilting one section. Two days ago I decided it was time to finish this so I started picking out (sigh)... I got solid red for the backing which will show the quilting nicely. I am an hour away from having it ready to use again.
Have a great week~


Kathy said...

What LA do you use & your thoughts on it? Gammill Premier. It has handled all size quilts that I needed toquilt.
Is having the LA worth the cost? Actually, I didn't buy this one. My Mom bought it (she never used it..only me!). I learned after her passing that she had bought it for ME!
Are LA's troublesome to keep running well? "knock on wood", I've not had a lick of trouble -- just ususal maintence. The machine was purchased in 2000.

Anything else?...I have done "some" quilting for the public for not a lot. I mainly use it for my personal use since I work full time.

Good Luck!

Vicki W said...

I have a 2005 APQS Millennium and it has only required one small adjsutment and I was able to do it myself easily. Longarms are wonderful but they are a totally different skill. All of the major longarm companies make great products so be sure to go to a few shows and try them all out several times. You have to find the one that fits you. Don't buy one based on another person's recommendation - a longarm is very personal. I am sure you will love it!

SandyQuilts said...

I own a Nolting 24" PRO but I only quilt for myself. It was an anniversary gift from DH.

Yes it's worth the cost for a real long arm machines. I would suggest you join some forums and yahoo email groups. AND do your own research. Each brand has their own following. BUT you'd be amazed at people (award winning quilters) who change brands ... happens all the time.

Go to big Quilt Shows and try out all the machines available. Ask lots of questions. Do remember that try outs at shows aren't always the best ... the machines are setup in a hurry so that needs to be remembered.

Most long arms (Nolting, APQS, Gammill, Innova (to name a few)) pretty much work the same ... it comes down to what works for YOU. Oh a 'long' arm is any machine that is 18" and up.

Have you considered a used long arm? All dealers and manufacturers have used machines. These machines just don't come in and sit on the floor. They are sent to the manufacturer for updates, repairs or whatever they need (in most cases).

Here's a couple suggestions ... you will need to register.

Good Luck. You will LOVE it, I promise.